Celebrations are brief. Power building is for ever.
How do you harness the excitement around Juneteenth, for community organizing and build long term power? How about community events that automatically build contact lists for voter mobilization?
Mothers of Hope is a Kalamazoo, Michigan based non-profit that empowers mothers to better the community. They are organizing a free, community 'Soul Food Dinner' to commemorate Juneteenth and collect contact details on the attendees.
They used online promotion on Facebook to promote the event, mobile coupons and chatbots to streamline data collection. The project took four hours, cost under $100 and generates an opt-in contact list.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
"Forty years after the first state recognized the formal end of slavery in the United States as cause for an official celebration, President Biden signed legislation Thursday making Juneteenth a national holiday. The march from unofficial holiday to a formal day off for most federal employees started in Texas, more than a century after Union Gen. Gordon Granger issued an 1865 order freeing the remaining 250,000 or so Black people who were still enslaved in the state, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It took until 1979 for Texas to formally recognize the holiday, after legislators approved a measure introduced by state Rep. Al Edwards (D), a veteran civil rights activist who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. Edwards introduced the bill in the first of his thirteen terms in office." - The Hill
How mobile coupons work
Stephanie Williams, who leads Mothers of Hope designed this campaign in Kalamazoo to celebrate Juneteenth and publicized the event on Facebook, Instagram and with signs in the community.
People simply text 'dinner' to the shortcode 63975 or can scan a QR Code (created with the free QR Code Generator app). They receive a digital coupon (which can only be used once) as a text message and presented with the terms and conditions. They enter their name to accept the free dinner offer. They present the coupon at Mothers of Hope and press REDEEM to enjoy a free dinner.
Chatbots automate data collection
Chatbots are small programs trained to do specific tasks. They are affordable, work around the clock and can handle any number of inquiries. In this case, a chatbot responds when a user texts in the keyword, presents the offer details, saves the caller's name and number and sends back a digital coupon. The process is automated and costs about 5 cents per record captured.
“Mothers of Hope” empowers and strengthens women, families, and communities to rise above the effects of substance use disorders, poverty, violence and systemic inequities. It was founded on the basis of Strength in Adversity. Its dedicated team of women embodies the power that mothers possess to support families and the focused determination to affect positive change in our community. Our charge is simple… empower mothers in an effort to better our community.